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Matthew Riland's Blog (9)

Protecting Your Transplants

A broccoli plant protected by a milk carton.

If you have ever transplanted young plants into your garden, you know all of the challenges of keeping those plants alive so they can develop into hardy, mature vegetable plants. Over the years I have tried several ways of protecting the young plants, but the best method I've found so far is to simply place a milk carton around the plant. This was something…

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Added by Matthew Riland on March 15, 2016 at 7:03pm — No Comments

Starting Seeds with Soil Blocks

It’s that time of year again to start thinking about starting your seeds indoors. It’s a great way to get a jump on spring. For the last few years I have been using soil blocks to start my seedlings. They are a great alternative to those plastic seed starting cells. There is a small initial investment in purchasing the soil block molds, but once that’s complete your done. Unlike the plastic cells you need to buy every few years.

If you are considering using soil blocks to start your…

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Added by Matthew Riland on February 27, 2016 at 6:25pm — 1 Comment

A Simple Seed Starting Stand

Wire shelf seed starting stand.

Depending on your location and planting schedule, it may soon be time to start thinking about starting those seeds indoors. If you are considering trying this for the first time, here is a simple stand that you can build quickly to get things started.

For the last seven years I have been starting seeds indoors with great success. My previous seed starting set-up…

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Added by Matthew Riland on January 29, 2013 at 9:18pm — 2 Comments

Building a Low Tunnel

One of the biggest challenges in having a winter garden is protecting it from the weather. Most people do not live in regions where the weather is perfect all year-round. So, in order to have a winter garden, most gardeners need some level of protection for their crops.

There are so many ways to protect your crops from the winter weather:…

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Added by Matthew Riland on September 27, 2012 at 6:00pm — 1 Comment

Planting a Winter Garden

Swiss chard plants in the garden.

Even though it is still summer, its time to start thinking about the winter garden. Gardening in the winter is a little different from gardening in other seasons. The winter garden is more about harvesting then growing. For a winter garden you need to have all of your crops close to full size by the time the days start getting shorter and the weather starts getting…

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Added by Matthew Riland on August 29, 2012 at 5:04pm — 1 Comment

Canning Peaches

Rows of canned peaches.

If you've never enjoyed home-canned peaches in the middle of winter, I urge you to try them. Nothing brings back the warm days of summer like the taste of a home-canned peach. Sure you can buy canned peaches in the supermarket, but I have yet to find one that comes close to those canned at home at the peak of ripeness.

I have been canning peaches at home…

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Added by Matthew Riland on August 11, 2012 at 7:54am — No Comments

Saving Sugar Snap Pea Seeds

Sugar snap peas growing on pea fences.

There are very few things as rewarding as growing vegetables from seeds you have saved. For the last four years I have been growing and saving sugar snap pea seeds. From my experience, saving sugar snap pea seeds can be a fairly simple process.

For starters I only grow one open pollinated variety of sugar snap pea in my garden. This helps eliminate the possibility of…

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Added by Matthew Riland on July 31, 2012 at 8:05pm — 2 Comments

Shagbark Hickory Syrup

A bottle of shagbark hickory syrup.

Syrup from bark? What is this about? That was my first reaction when I came across a stand selling Shagbark Hickory Syrup at the Ned Smith Festival today. What I found was a small, local, husband and wife business that produced a sweet syrup from the bark of a Shagbark Hickory tree. Now they…

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Added by Matthew Riland on July 28, 2012 at 8:19pm — 1 Comment

Planting a Fall Garden

Planting rows of beans. Depending on your location it may be time to start thinking about planting for a fall garden. I have been growing a fall garden for the last six years and I have really come to enjoy gardening in the fall rather than in the heat of summer.

Growing a fall garden is a great way to extend your harvesting season. It is also a great way to grow more vegetables in less space. With a little planning you…

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Added by Matthew Riland on July 27, 2012 at 9:30pm — 2 Comments

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